What would possibly possess a person to give an old, toothless horse a block of ice to eat? I ask on account of it happened to me, and also to Original Coors and Coors Light, one real sweaty day on the County Island durin the highest heat of the long hot time. And, well, I suppose I ain’t entirely toothless, but I got a few teeth that’s vamoosed entirely from their proper place in my own mouth, and there’s some more that seem downright questionable, but that ain’t the point. The point’s a hard one to make, and likely involves a person’s heart froze as cold as ice.
We was snoozin and swishin flies in the shade in the middle of the day, when the bucket gal emerged from the people-barn, with buckets, which is real crucial to the crux of the thing, namely: day buckets? Well, alright then. And she rattled the buckets to make a real promisin rattlin feed-sound. We didn’t quite come out from the shade, but she appeared to be bringin them to us, which seemed sensible for stayin out of the sun burnin hot like the farrier’s forge.
Original Coors made his worst mare-face at Coors Light, and Coors Light grumped right back at him and kicked out at nothin on principle with one hind foot, which made Original Coors stomp a front foot and shake his head. Me, I pricked my ears at the happy surprise of a day bucket. And thus, the bucket gal set my bucket before my own hooves first and let the Coorses sort out their family squabble. And I plunged my own head deep into my bucket, mouth opened wide to chow down on those sweet pellets of feed — and damned near froze my tongue on somethin solid. So I took a bite, and I damned near broke a tooth. What the…?
Coors and Coors Light was in a similar situation with their own buckets. With more stompin and ear-pinnin, they traded places back and forth before finally decidin they each had a ice berg (which is what the people call it when the water troughs get froze solid in the cold time – a ice “berg,” which is a nonsense word) of their own.
I cocked my head to have a proper look at the ice berg in my bucket. It was carrots, lots and lots of tiny bites of ‘em, froze into a block bigger than a whole apple. But, why?
I tried to take a smaller bite, which at least allowed me to grab hold of the carrot ice berg. And I licked it with the length of my tongue. Lick, bite, lick, lick, bite, bite… Slowly, eventually, thusly I seemed to be makin some meltin progress.
When I was able to grab hold of the whole thing with my teeth, I tried smashin it against the side of the bucket to maybe smash the carrots out of it, but that was no more good than hoof-stompin or ear-pinnin. Then again, maybe it was. So I grabbed it and smashed it some more. Meanwhile, Coors Light was havin better luck smashin his, and meltin it into slurpy li’l puddles of carrot water. So, that’s how the carrot ice berg was to be broke. Smash, lick, bite, smash, lick, bite into a cold, crunchy CARROT.
It kept us occupied for a real long time right there in the shade, with all the smashin, lickin, bitin and slurpin. And also I’d like to beg your pardon for the indelicate wordage herewith if you’re accustomed to a horse that eats in a more proper manner, but carrot ice bergs seem to call for some serious slurpin. And I got to admit, it refreshed us a bit, too, I guess, if I’d have to say. For some ridiculous reason that only a person could hope to know about, I think it also made the bucket gal happy. She told us they was carrot “pop sick’els,” though I don’t know why they’re called that on account of thankfully they didn’t make a pop sound, and they didn’t make any of us sick, more like a kinda irritable about the ice part. But like I always say, happy people means happy horses.
But what I ain’t got to do, likely ever, is understand one lick of it. No, not one actual lick. Nor three, nor thirty, nor however many licks it takes to get to the center of a carrot ice berg pop- sick’el. How many licks does it take, y’all might be wonderin? I dunno. I lost count crunchin on carrot bits.